As the sands of time trickle down the hourglass, I find myself more and more engaged in the people I have known rather than those that I know now. Sometimes I wonder if it is the forgotten friends of the past that enchant me or just the fact that these friends remain as memories that I may manipulate or alter at my will – though my personality struggles to keep them uncontaminated. In my mind, I glorify these individuals – they become the kindest beings, the most understanding of the world, and almost perfect in every regard – but not quite. The individuals that linger on within my memory are those that are the most human – those that are inspirational in that they are strong against their environment and perfect because they are flawed. I look up to them endlessly, hold their words close at hand, and live my life changed evermore.
There was this one lady that used to come by my house every month or so, a beaming smile upon her face and a bible clutched dotingly in her arms. She was young, enthusiastic, and brimming with the passion of a second year university student. I could never turn her away, not the first time, not the third time, and not at any time for that matter. In fact, if she were to swing by right now, I would probably stand at the door and listen to what she had to say. That’s what I did. For the five or six encounters that we had before my father finally answered the door, surprised to see a young woman asking to see his twelve year old daughter. He turned her away of course, as fathers do to protect their daughters. She never came by again. Perhaps she was shocked that my parents had no clue what I was getting involved in or perhaps she was afraid that she was doing something not quite legal in the sense that I was a minor and didn’t have the maturity to make my own judgement. I did, however, have the maturity far beyond others of my age. I’ve always regretted that – growing up too fast that is.
On the matter of religion, those encounters did not shape in any way my religious views. However, they shaped the way I viewed the world. Her passion and unending dedication to God and to her religion inspired me to hold a similar passion in everything I do. She made an individual effort to spread her faith and to promote something she strongly believed in – that is something that not only requires time and patience, but also effort and diligence. Looking back, I was more attracted (in the infantile sense) to her views and individual perspective of her religion and of her God more than I was interested in converting to Christianity. I found confidence in what she said and yearned to be able to reflect the same confidence when I spoke. Seeing how far I have come from that meager, shy existence to the homunculus of passions I am today, I owe some of it to her. I feel like I had almost found a friend in her – though our age difference and diverse interests would certainly have been somewhat a barrier. She was accepting, yet unrelenting to other views – she didn’t force you to believe what she did, but she tried her best to convince you to see her side. I don’t believe I’ll ever amount to the strength that she possessed, but I’ll travel along that path and see where it takes me.
I keep an almost collection-like memory of individuals who have changed my perspectives or my attitudes in life – individuals like that young lady. Sometimes, I have difficulty letting go of the past, but other times, I am found staring off too far into the future. In the case of these individuals, I feel an innate urge to solidify their presence within me – as if even today, they continue to influence my every thought and action. I believe that to some extent, this is true for everybody. Whether it be their parents or a stranger, their best friend or a teacher, everyone has someone that they cannot forget and someone they hold next to their hearts. For me, it just happens to be a lot of “someone”s. For me, more than specific events in time or specific material awards, it is the individuals that remain forever prominent in my minds. For me, due to my association with the virtual world, many of these individuals have been those that I have never met in the real world. This doesn’t make them any less significant in comparison to anyone I’ve met in the flesh and blood and perhaps it even adds a new layer of permanence in that I have been exposed truly to the minds of these people without the barrier that is real life interaction and formalities. I have lived, loved, and learned with these friends, these models of inspiration in my mind – and thus, it is only natural that they remain forever floating and out of my sub-conscience.
If you have had the time and interest to read through this entire rant-like thing, then ask yourself this:
Who is it that you cannot let go of?